How To Keep Food Warm In A Cooler Top Full Guide 2023

How To Keep Food Warm In A Cooler Top Full Guide 2023
  • Paul Kahan

Cooler is one of the fastest methods to keep food hot. However, How To Keep Food Warm In A Cooler is the problem that gives you the most headache. Why are so many quality coolers unable to keep food hot for more than 2 hours? Is it because the manufacturer chooses to cheat?

The truth is not so. Each cooler produced has the function of keeping hot for a certain period. However, you can refer to the methods below to extend the timekeeping warm setting. Publican Anker guarantees that you will not be disappointed by these methods’ excellent results.

A Quick Word About Keeping Food Hot Safely

While you don’t have to worry about bacteria growth and food safety when using a cooler to keep things cool, you should consider it when trying to keep things warm.

The USDA defines a “danger zone” as food temperatures between 40 and 140oF (4.4-60oC). Between these temperatures, bacteria can quickly grow, which can cause food to spoil and possibly make you sick. It is best to keep some meats, such as poultry, and leftovers at 165oF (74oC), for them to stay safe.

You should eat your food as soon as it enters the “danger zone”. Hot food can spoil if it is not stored properly or left in the danger zone too long.

You’ll avoid this by keeping your food hot and consuming it as soon as the temperature drops below 140-165oF (60 to 74oC).

How To Keep Your Food Warm In A Cooler?

How To Keep Your Food Warm In A Cooler?

A cooler is great for keeping things cool, but many people don’t realize that coolers can also keep warm. You may not have thought of it as an option if you’re new to smoking meats. However, a cooler can keep warm.

It can be difficult to cook slow and low-cooker dishes like my Boston butt recipe, ribs, and even brisket. A cooler is a great way to make sure that all dishes are ready for you.

1 – The Towel Method

In my early days of cooking, I was worried that the Boston butt would cook too quickly over the night. The experience was great, and I learned a lot. Here’s how to keep a delicious meal warm for 5 hours.

  • Place a double layer on top of the cooler with towels.
  • Double wrap the meat in aluminum foil.
  • Place the just wrapped meat in tin foil directly into the cooler, right on top of the towels.
  • Use a couple more towels to cover the meat.
  • When you are ready, close the cooler’s lid and don’t open it again.

This method of warming food in a cooler worked for me on numerous occasions, from 30 minutes up to 5 hours. The Boston butt was still hot after 5 hours, and it was still delicious!

This video shows you how to keep warm in a cooler.

2 – The Brick Method

To combat the cold, you might need to heat your cooler if you’re going outside in the cold for something like tailgating at football games. This works well for storage at room temperature (around 68 degrees).

For this purpose, wrap a few bricks in heavy-duty tin foil. Then place them in the oven for between 275-325 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

After they are done, place them on a towel to cover the cooler’s bottom. Place another towel on top of the hot bricks. Next, add the dish or meat you want to keep warm.

To keep the food warm and toasty, add some more towels to the dish once it is done. Another great way to keep warm for a longer time is to use a cooler.

3 – Thermos Method

This method keeps food warm in a cooler by focusing on small items such as soups and dips. These items can be stored in a cooler with a pan or Tupperware, but they can get messy if they are tipped too far.

It is good to make the soup or dip in thermoses and then put them in the cooler with any other food that you want to keep warm. Thermoses work well because their tops can seal and hold things such as coffee.

Food safety is a key consideration in all these methods. Refrigerate anything between 40-140 degrees in less than 2 hours.

Although I have never experienced any issues with temperature when keeping the cooler warm setting, I recommend that you follow the USDA’s guidelines. To confirm that it is safe to eat, you can use a thermometer to check.

Best Coolers For Keeping Food Hot

Best Coolers For Keeping Food Hot

Many coolers on the market are not equally effective at conserving heat. Coolers that can hold ice for long periods are generally the coolers that will keep warm. See my top insulating coolers and make your choice. Or, you can look at the list below.

Kong Coolers

Kong coolers are a relatively new product on the market. They are the most insulating cooler currently available.

They can keep ice longer than any other brand, and they can also heat food and insulate it. They outperform other well-known brands such as Yeti, as you can see in my Kong Vs. Yeti comparison.

They are made in America, come with a limited lifetime warranty, and are my favorite cooler brand on the market. They are highly recommended.

Lifetime Coolers

The Lifetime coolers offer the best value-for-money high-end coolers on the market. These coolers offer similar performance and features to premium brands but at a fraction of their price.

Other coolers can cost more than $300, but Lifetime coolers are often less expensive at $100.

Made in the USA, Lifetime coolers can keep warm all day. These coolers are the most economical on the market.

Coleman Xtreme

Coleman Xtreme is a great option for anyone who doesn’t have the budget to buy a high-end cooler to keep warm.

Although it is extremely affordable, it still outperforms cheaper coolers by quite a bit. It keeps your food warm for longer. They are light and durable. It’s been my personal favorite for five years and still works great.

Relevant articles maybe you also like:


Can you use a cooler to keep food warm

Can You Use A Cooler to Keep Food Warm?

Coolers are a great way to keep your lunch warm at work or warm food while on long trips. Coolers won’t stop food from becoming colder over time. It will still keep your food warmer than if it were left out in the open or if it did not insulate at all. All info about the way to use a cooler to keep things hot here.

How Do You Keep Food Warm For an Outdoor Party?

15 Ideas to Keep Warm for a Party

  • Aluminum Foil and Towels are recommended.
  • Use a cooler.
  • Keep the Oven on Low
  • Chafing Dishes.
  • A slow cooker is a good choice.
  • You can store food in a thermal cooker.
  • The Grill/BBQ.
  • You can use a double boiler or create one.

How Do You Keep Warm All Day?

Wrapping or covering food with aluminum foil can be a good option if you want to keep it warm for a short time. The foil will only keep the heat in for about 30 minutes.

How Long Will Cooler Keep Warm?

If you follow the steps to convert your cooler into a hot box, you can keep warm in a cooler for up to 4-6 hours. You will need to heat the water in a large saucepan on the stove. Next, add the water to a cooler and let it rest for at least five minutes.


A cooler is one of the best ways to keep warm. You probably already know this. You may be able to learn the tricks to increase the cooling ability of your cooler so that the food stays hot for longer than 1-2 hours.

You can comment below if you have any questions. Publican Anker will monitor and filter all questions. Your comments are a great way to help the article become better.

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